Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 14, 2008
Weeding out the highs of medical marijuana
Research exploring new ways of exploiting the full medicinal uses of cannabis while avoiding unwanted side-effects will be presented to pharmacologists today by leading scientists attending the Federation of European Pharmacological Societies Congress, EPHAR 2008.

URI researcher: China can't fully fix air quality problem for Olympics
The outlook for air quality in Beijing during the Olympics is borderline, and there's little that the Chinese government can do to improve it.

Study examines anti-clotting therapy following cardioembolic stroke
The common practice of administering heparin soon after cardioembolic stroke is associated with an increased risk for serious bleeding, according to an article posted online today that will appear in the September 2008 print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

American Society for Microbiology honors Jeffrey C. Pommerville
The 2008 American Society for Microbiology Carski Foundation Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award is being presented to Jeffrey C.

Discovery first step to new therapies
In an Australian first, scientists at Sydney's Centenary Institute have mapped the anatomy of a membrane protein.

UNC study: Out-of-pocket health care costs for disabled children vary widely by state
The size of the financial burden on families with disabled children largely depends on which state they live in, according to a new study conducted by the schools of social work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Washington University in St.

Researchers hone technique to KO pediatric brain tumors
An interdisciplinary team of researchers at Washington University in St.

More women into science -- more excellence for research -- more money for top management
Women are in the future to play a significantly greater part in science in Germany, and to enjoy far better promotion and career opportunities than they have up to now.

American Society for Microbiology honors Anne M. Vidaver
The 2008 American Society for Microbiology Founders Distinguished Service Award is being presented to Anne M.

British showers most wasteful and inconsiderate in Western Europe
Water-wasting and uncaring about gels, shampoos and soap going down the plughole: that's how the British emerge from a survey on showering habits of western Europeans.

Closing coal-burning power plant in China and improved cognitive development in children
Closing coal-fired power plants can have a direct, positive impact on children's cognitive development and health according to a study released by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

Researchers link Huntington's disease to overactive immune response in the brain
The damage to brain tissue seen in Huntington's disease may be caused by an overactive immune response in the bloodstream and the brain, according to new findings from two teams of researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle and University College London.

Icelandic volcanoes help researchers understand potential effects of eruptions
For the first time, researchers have taken a detailed look at what lies beneath all of Iceland's volcanoes -- and found a world far more complex than they ever imagined.

American Society for Microbiology honors Walter Stamm
The 2008 American Society for Microbiology sanofi-aventis US Award will be presented to Walter Stamm, associate director, WWAMI Regional Center of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, Seattle, Washington.

American Society for Microbiology honors Adrian M. Zelazny
The 2008 American Society for Microbiology Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Young Investigator Award is being presented to Adrian M.

Sociological research shows combined impact of genetics, social factors on delinquency
In one of the first studies to link molecular genetic variants to adolescent delinquency, sociological research published in the August issue of the American Sociological Review identifies three genetic predictors -- of serious and violent delinquency -- that gain predictive precision when considered together with social influences, such as family, friends and school processes.

Young adults with prehypertension are more likely to have atherosclerosis later in life
Prehypertension during young adulthood is common and is associated with coronary atherosclerosis, according to a study published in the July 15 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Proposed new definition for intermediate syndrome resulting from organophosphate poisoning
Every year, many thousands of people die as a result of poisoning by pesticides; one of the commonest types of pesticides involved are the organophosphates.

New study sheds light on how intracellular pathogens trigger the immune system
A new study led by UC Berkeley biologists has identified a molecular alarm system in which intracellular pathogens send out signals that kick the immune response into gear.

More kidney stone disease projected due to global warming, predicts UT Southwestern researchers
Global warming is likely to increase the proportion of the population affected by kidney stones by expanding the higher-risk region known as the

Coronary heart disease patients live longer, but not always happier, lives
People with coronary heart disease report a worse

More windows of opportunity for research
The year 2007 was a successful one for the German scientific community.

Even toddlers get it: Data 'chunks' are easier to remember
Children as young as 14 months can -- and do -- use a

'Healthy' sterols may pose health risk
Plant sterols have been touted as an effective way to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Carnegie Corporation funds ASCB course on parasites for African scientists
The Carnegie Corporation of New York has funded a new three-year $506,800 international scientific outreach program through the American Society for Cell Biology to bring new perspectives and new technologies to emerging research institutions in sub-Saharan Africa.

American Society for Microbiology honors Ekaterina Heldwein
The 2008 American Society for Microbiology ICAAC Young Investigator Award will be presented to Ekaterina Heldwein, Assistant Professor, Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Tufts University, Boston, Mass.

Ecological Society of America announces 2008 award recipients
The Ecological Society of America will present societal awards to eight distinguished ecologists at the 93rd Annual ESA meeting in Milwaukee, Wis., on Monday, Aug.

Nuclear stress test can detect more than blockages
A less invasive test commonly used to diagnose coronary disease also may be used to detect one of the leading causes of heart failure, say researchers at the Medical College of Georgia.

Perceived access to cigarettes predicts youth smoking
Kids who see cigarettes as easily accessible are more likely to end up as regular smokers, particularly if they have friends who smoke, according to a new report published in the current issue of Annals of Family Medicine.

Gene variations in diverse patient populations determine who responds best to an antidepressant
A new Mayo Clinic study shows that variations in the serotonin transporter gene could explain why some people with depression respond better than others to treatment with citalopram, an antidepressant medication.

Smoking cessation therapies more effective than placebos
Six treatments for smoking cessation perform better than placebos -- including varenicline, recently approved for use in Canada -- states a team of researchers from McGill University and the University of Montreal in an article published in CMAJ.

Leatherback turtles go with the flow
Not much is known about the world's largest living turtle, the leatherback.

American Society for Microbiology honors Eric Skaar
The 2008 American Society for Microbiology ICAAC Young Investigator Award will be presented to Eric Skaar, Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee.

Mutant testis cells behind genetic disorder have survival advantage
USC researchers compare lab and computational data and uncover evidence for selective advantage of mutant testis cells over non-mutant ones.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- July 9, 2008
The American Chemical Society's News Service Weekly PressPac contains reports from 36 major peer-reviewed journals on chemistry, health, medicine, energy, environment, food, nanotechnology and other hot topics.

'Snapshots' of eyes could serve as early warning of diabetes
A new vision screening device, already shown to give an early warning of eye disease, could give doctors and patients a head start on treating diabetes and its vision complications, a new study shows.

Physicists tweak quantum force, reducing barrier to tiny devices
Cymbals don't clash of their own accord -- in our world, anyway.

American Society for Microbiology honors D. Scott Merrell
A 2008 American Society for Microbiology Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Award is being presented to D.

Nucleostemin, serotonin and insulin signaling: controlling Drosophila growth
In the July 15 issue of G&D, Dr. Matthew Scott and colleagues at Stanford University School of Medicine reveal that a protein called Nucleostemin 3 links the serotonin and insulin signaling pathways in the control of Drosophila body size.

Exhausted B cells fail to fight HIV
HIV tires out the cells that produce virus-fighting proteins known as antibodies, according to a human study that will be published online July 14 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Dioxin risk in soil and plant tissues after long-term biosolids application
Use of biosolids (treated municipal sewage sludge) on crops is a common practice because biosolids are a rich source of plant nutrients and organic matter.

EPA releases science assessment on health effects of nitrogen oxides
EPA has released the final

Guidelines to prevent genetic discrimination
A multi-disciplinary group from Stanford University has proposed ten principles to guide the use of racial and ethnic categories in genetic research, as reported today in BioMed Central's open access journal Genome Biology.

Elsevier's 'ScienceDirect' articles surpass 9M mark
ScienceDirect has surpassed nine million full-text articles.

Tufts researchers discover link between DNA palindromes and disease
Long DNA sequences, or palindromes, change the shape of the molecule from double helix to hairpin-like formation, which causes replication to stall.

New report: Greatest value of forests is sustainable water supply
The forests of the future may need to be managed as much for a sustainable supply of clean water as any other goal, researchers say in a new federal report -- but even so, forest resources will offer no

Excavated Jericho bones may help Israeli-Palestinian-German team combat tuberculosis
Six-thousand year old bones excavated in Jericho may help a joint Israeli-Palestinian-German research group combat tuberculosis.

SNM awards $300,000 to support molecular imaging research
SNM -- an international scientific and professional organization of more than 16,000 members dedicated to promoting the practical applications, technology and science of molecular imaging and nuclear medicine -- has awarded $300,000 in research grants to support molecular imaging research.

Mitochondrial cholesterol makes response to chemotherapy difficult in hepatic cancer
IIBB-CSIC-IDIBAPS researchers have demonstrated that the increase of cholesterol concentration in the mitochondrial membrane makes the action of chemotherapy difficult in cellular hepatocarcinoma.

Dartmouth research reveals passive learning imprints on the brain just like active learning
It's conventional wisdom that practice makes perfect. But if practicing only consists of watching, rather than doing, does that advance proficiency?

Indoor residential air quality has significant impact on health
Indoor air quality has a greater impact on health than outdoor air quality, as North American adults spend almost 90 percent of their time indoors.

Huntington's disease: catching it early
Scientists in England report that signs of Huntington's disease appear in the blood almost 15 years before the patients develop symptoms of brain damage.

SIAM Student Paper Prize winners present solution papers at SIAM Annual Meeting
Each year, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics awards SIAM Student Paper Prizes to the most outstanding papers submitted to the SIAM Student Paper Prize Competition.

Rx for time-crunched physicians
Certain communication skills can help physicians increase the efficiency of their time with patients during office visits.

American Society for Microbiology honors Arturo Casadevall
The 2008 American Society for Microbiology William A. Hinton Research Training Award is being presented to Arturo Casadevall, chair, department of microbiology and immunology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University, New York.

Study reveals principles behind stability and electronic properties of gold nanoclusters
A report published in the July 8 issue of the journal PNAS is the first to describe the principles behind the stability and electronic properties of tiny nanoclusters of metallic gold.

July/August 2008 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
This tip sheet includes highlights and synopses of original research and editorials in the July/August 2008 issue of Annals of Family Medicine.

Positive thinking is prescription for the heart
Optimism is good for heart health, at least among men, a new study shows.

Gear up before revving up ATVs
Whether on vacation or out for recreation, many adults and children are hopping on ATVs for some warm weather fun.

American Society for Microbiology honors Gary M. Dunny
The 2008 American Society for Microbiology ASM Graduate Microbiology Teaching Award is being presented to Gary M.

Abatacept improves juvenile arthritis in randomized withdrawal trial, but study questioned
Abatacept is a rational alternative treatment for juvenile idiopathic arthritis in children who do not respond to other treatments, conclude authors of an article published early online and in an upcoming edition of the Lancet.

Many Hispanics with diabetes unaware of potential eye disease, do not receive eye exams
Hispanic patients with diabetes appear to have less frequent eye examinations than the national average for Hispanic individuals, and many are not aware of the potential ocular complications of diabetes, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for July 15, 2008, issue
Highlights of studies being published in the upcoming issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Colorectal cancer screening rates still too low
Although colorectal cancer screening tests are proven to reduce colorectal cancer mortality, only about half of US men and women 50 and older receive the recommended tests, according to a report in the July 2008 issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

NOPP awards nearly $1.5 Million to University of Miami Rosenstiel school researchers
The National Oceanographic Partnership Program, a collaboration of federal agencies providing leadership and coordination on national oceanographic research and education, has announced that it will fund a three year project being led by scientists at the University of Miami.

Sociological analysis shows emergence of 'rights revolution' in China
While the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing has elicited a rallying cry for human rights among high-profile activists and organizations outside China, ordinary Chinese citizens are mobilizing to fight for their rights inside the rapidly changing country, according to sociologist Ching Kwan Lee, writing in the summer issue of the American Sociological Association's Contexts magazine.

Farming at young age may lead to bone disease in adulthood
Although farm chores are likely to keep young boys in shape and out of trouble, University of Cincinnati environmental health experts caution that it could be harmful to overall bone health if done too often at a young age.

Student winners of SIAM Award in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling present papers
The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) recognized the 2007 and 2008 winners of the SIAM Award in the Mathematical Contest in Modeling (SIAM/MCM Award) at the SIAM Annual Meeting in San Diego, California where they had the opportunity to present their winning papers.

SIAM outstanding paper prize winners recognized at SIAM Annual Meeting
Each year, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics awards SIAM Outstanding Paper Prizes to the authors of exceptional papers published in SIAM journals.

Keeping invasive species out of the Great Lakes
A new report from the National Research Council,

American Society for Microbiology honors Geraldine S. Hall
The 2008 American Society for Microbiology bioMérieux Sonnenwirth Award for Leadership in Clinical Microbiology is being presented to Geraldine S.

Discovery -- marsupials and humans shared same genetic imprinting 150 million years ago
Research published in Nature Genetics by a team of international scientists including the department of zoology at the University of Melbourne, Australia, has established an identical mechanism of genetic imprinting, a process involved in marsupial and human fetal development, which evolved 150 million years ago.

Patient reports can add to efforts to identify, reduce adverse events in hospitals
Hospitals' efforts to improve patient safety rely on several methods of monitoring and evaluating the occurrence of adverse events: including incident reports from members of the health care team, automated surveillance of clinical data, and review of medical records.

89 percent of children's food products provide poor nutritional quality
Most kids' foods provide poor nutritional quality, but packaging claims and healthy images could be misleading parents, according to a Canadian study in the July issue of Obesity Reviews.

NASA responds to California wildfire emergency imaging request
A remotely piloted aircraft carrying a NASA sensor flew over much of California earlier this week, gathering information that will be used to help fight more than 300 wildfires burning within the state.

American Society for Microbiology honors Dianne K. Newman
The 2008 American Society for Microbiology Eli Lilly and Company Research Award is being presented to Dianne K.

Bluffing could be common in prediction markets, study shows
A new mathematical model by researchers at the University of Michigan suggests that bluffing in prediction markets is a profitable strategy more often than previously thought.

Mitigating climate change by improving forest management in the tropics
In a new article published this week in the open-access journal PLoS Biology, botanist Francis Putz and colleagues argue that by ignoring evidence that better forest management practices can substantially reduce carbon emissions, negotiators are missing an obvious and cost-effective approach to mitigating the effects of global climate change.

Cellular decision on the computer
New method may help to develop new treatments against cancer metastasis.

Formula predicts emergency admissions in adults older than 40
Using data from clinical encounters and drug prescriptions over three years, researchers have devised a model to predict emergency hospital admissions in the following year in individuals age 40 and older, according to a report in the July 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

American Society for Microbiology honors Bala Swaminathan
The 2008 American Society for Microbiology Gen-Probe Joseph Award is being presented to Bala Swaminathan, vice president, technical and business development, IHRC, Inc., Atlanta, Ga.

New studies predict record land grab as demand soars for new sources of food, energy and wood fiber
Escalating global demand for fuel, food and wood fibrer will destroy the world's forests, if efforts to address climate change and poverty fail to empower the billion-plus forest-dependent poor, according to two reports released today by the US-based Rights and Resources Initiative, an international coalition comprising the world's foremost organizations on forest governance and conservation.

Ecology, economics and soil societies brief Congress on post-wildfire resource management
On Wednesday, July 9, three prominent scientific societies sponsored briefings on Capitol Hill to inform lawmakers about how to manage natural areas after they have been impacted by wildfire.

American Society for Microbiology honors Bernard Roizman
The 2008 American Society for Microbiology Abbott-ASM Lifetime Achievement Award is being presented to Bernard Roizman, Joseph Regenstein Distinguished Service Professor of Virology, the University of Chicago.

Studies show that diabetes increases risk of tuberculosis
Searching for research over the past four decades containing data on the relationship between diabetes and TB, Christie Jeon and Megan Murray of the Harvard School of Public Health identified 13 studies involving more than 1.7 million participants, including 17,698 cases of TB.

Aiming to improve schizophrenia treatment through the NIMH CNTRICS Initiative
This July 1, 2008 issue includes eight articles on CNTRICS.

Exercise may prevent brain shrinkage in early Alzheimer's disease
Mild Alzheimer's disease patients with higher physical fitness had larger brains compared to mild Alzheimer's patients with lower physical fitness, according to a study published in the July 15, 2008, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

New criterion may improve identification of dementia risk in highly educated older adults
A different cutoff point on an existing mental function assessment may more effectively assess the risk of dementia in highly educated older adults, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Exhausted B cells hamper immune response to HIV
Recent studies have shown that HIV causes a vigorous and prolonged immune response that eventually leads to the exhaustion of key immune system cells -- CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells -- that target HIV.

Multithreaded supercomputer seeks software for data-intensive computing
The newest breed of supercomputers -- with so-called

New round of Environmental Venture Projects from Stanford's Woods Institute
The Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University has awarded five Environmental Venture Project grants for interdisciplinary research aimed at finding practical solutions promoting global sustainability.

Visual impairment may be associated with higher suicide risk
Visual impairment may be associated with an increased risk of suicide through its indirect negative effect on health, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Joint replacement may improve osteoarthritis symptoms in older adults
Older adults who have hip or knee replacement surgery for severe osteoarthritis may take several weeks to recover but appear to have excellent long-term outcomes, according to a report in the July 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

American Society for Microbiology honors David J. Lipman
The 2008 American Society for Microbiology Promega Biotechnology Research Award is being presented to David J.

Was it a bird or was it a plane?
A new study of extinct flying reptiles called kuehneosaurs, has shown that of the of the two genera found in Britain, Kuehneosuchus was a glider while Kuehneosaurus, with much shorter

American Society for Microbiology honors Edward F. DeLong
The 2008 American Society for Microbiology Procter & Gamble Award in Applied and Environmental Microbiology is being presented to Edward F.

Leatherback turtles' newly discovered migration route may be roadmap to salvation
A major effort to tag and track leatherbacks that nest on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica has yielded unprecedented insight into their behavior.

Hospital mortality: When failure is not a good measure of success
Current measures of hospital mortality, especially when derived from administrative data, are limited as a performance measure.

Undersea volcanic rocks offer vast repository for greenhouse gas, says study
A group of scientists has used deep ocean-floor drilling and experiments to show that volcanic rocks off the West Coast and elsewhere might be used to securely imprison huge amounts of globe-warming carbon dioxide captured from power plants or other sources.

Hyperactive immune system offers window to the brain in degenerative disease
Recent findings that a mutant gene can cause abnormal overactivity in the immune system could be significant in the search for treatments of Huntington's disease and other degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, according to new research led by scientists at UCL and published today in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

American American Society for Microbiology honors James T. Staley
The 2008 American Society for Microbiology USFCC/J. Roger Porter Award is being presented to James T.

Watercooler rumors -- what's truth got to do with it?
Rumors and dirty politics go hand in hand. Rumors on Wall Street cause a different kind of turbulence.

Integrating palliative care for dementia into primary care
A National Palliative Care Research Center award to Greg A.

American Society for Microbiology honors Douglas Weibel
The 2008 American Society for Microbiology ICAAC Young Investigator Award will be presented to Douglas Weibel, assistant professor, department of biochemistry, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Older adults who bring companions to medical visits may be more satisfied with medical care
More than one-third of Medicare beneficiaries appear to be accompanied by family members or companions during medical encounters, according to a report in the July 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

When it comes to putting, Tiger and Nicklaus might not have best advice
Golfers who heed the advice of instructors to keep their heads perfectly still while putting may be hampering their game, according to a study that examined coordination patterns.

Incorrectly cleaved protein leads to schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a disease that strikes an average of 4,000 Belgians every year.

Asians who immigrated to US before age 25 have poorer mental health than older immigrants
Asian-American immigrants who came to the United States before they were 25 years old have poorer mental health than their compatriots who came to this country when they were 25 or older, according to data from the first national mental health survey of Asian-Americans.

The 700-year-old Mexican mummy with a tummy ache
Remnants of the bacterium that causes stomach ulcers, Helicobacter pylori, have been discovered in gastric tissue from North American mummies. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to